(Providence, Rhode Island)
Before we get into the world of politics, I’d like to acknowledge a tremendous loss in the music world. Clarence Clemons died Saturday. He was the legendary saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and was also known to millions as “The Big Man.” He and the band were big influences in my own fledgling music career back in the early 1980s. I saw them perform at least a dozen times.
Clemons also gave generously to charity. I had the honor of meeting and interviewing him last year, when he came to Providence for the annual “Rock and Jock” concert benefitting children with epilepsy and “The Matty Fund.” www.mattyfund.org. God Bless you, Clarence!
Now for political brunch! Today’s menu includes:
Michele Bachman was the clear winner of Monday night’s debate. Why? She made the biggest headline of the night by formally announcing her candidacy on stage during the debate! She also had the night’s most memorable quote: “President Obama is a one-term President!”
Newt Gingrich was the loser. He came across as boring and stale with the same old ideas, regardless of whether they are good or not. Newt has made a career by being bold. He needed to be BOLD Monday night, and wasn’t!
Tim Pawlenty tied with Newt as the loser. On a Sunday talk show, Pawlenty had cleverly referred to the health care law as “Obam-ney Care,” a nod to the notion that Obama had partially fashioned his health care reform after the Massachusetts law Mitt Romney signed while governor. However, during the debate, Pawlenty chose not to challenge Romney on this point. Note to Pawlenty: Stand by your accusations; voters don’t like wimps!
Although he hasn't declared his candidacy, Governor Rick Perry, (R) Texas, may be the man Obama fears most. Unlike African Americans, who vote almost exclusively Democratic, the Latino vote is split 40/60 and is sometimes even closer. With huge and influential conservative Latino voting blocks in Texas and Florida, Perry could prevent Obama from winning Florida again in 2012.
Speaking of the Latino vote, the smartest political move made this week was Obama making an appearance in Puerto Rico. Though it is a distant possibility that Puerto Rico will ever gain statehood, there are 4 million Puerto Ricans who are registered to vote living in the United States.
If unemployment stays above 8 percent, any GOP candidate has a real shot at beating Obama. But the GOP candidate must bring the energy and charisma to match Obama's. Ronald Reagan—with an equally bad economy—was just as vulnerable as Obama is at this point in his first term. Reagan eventually won in a landslide, in part because a vanilla, lackluster Walter Mondale helped ensure that “The Gipper” had another term in the Oval Office.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads, stepdads and granddads!
If you have any comments on my political brunch, or wish to agree or disagree with my analysis, I’d love to hear from you at www.markcurtismedia.com.